Category Archives: Process

Numbers 14 – Doubt

Well, the damage has been done, and it has only just begun.  The bad report has been made, and now the people respond!  “Why have you brought us and out children out here to die?”  “Their walled cities are just too big!”  “There’s some terrible people up in them there hills!”  “We won’t stand a chance!”  “The enemy’s too big”  “I just can’t figure it out”  “We don’t have a five-year plan”  “But we just don’t have time”  “We can’t afford to do that in this kind of economy”  “It costs too much” “How am I going to take care of my family?”  “But God!  Be reasonable!”  “Why do we need to do that.  We haven’t needed to do it that way before.”  “What about the separation of church and state?”  “We could lose our tax-exempt status!”  “Someone else will do it”  “I’m just not ready”

There is always a reason why we can’t do what God / YHWH has called us to do.  The people sinned because they rejected what YHWH was doing.  It didn’t matter that God was in control.  What matters is what we can think / worry about.  We look at how big the enemy is, and we forget about how much bigger our YHWH is. 

What promised land had YHWH already promised to give to you?  Are you pursuing it under God’s direction, or are you running from it because the problems look too insurmountable?  Will you lose out on the promise that YHWH made to you because of your own fears and lack of faith, or will you proceed under YHWH’s direction and pursue the work and will of God?

LORD, give me the ability to see these concerns and these problems through your eyes.  YHWH, continue to give me guidance and direction.  I do not want to be a foolish builder, but then neither do i want to be an Israelite rejecting the promised land for fear of the Canaanites.  Guide and direct me today.  In Jesus name I pray,  AMEN (that it be done).

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Numbers 7 – Dedication

It has come time for the alter to be dedicated and for the priests to do their duties.  The leaders of the tribes of Israel to step up and be leaders.  So they do.  Together they offer 6 carts and 12 oxen for use in the service of the tabernacle.  Then the leader of each tribe comes and offers the offering for a day, each in turn for 12 days.  They all offer the same things.  A silver dish and a silver bowl full of grain and oil, a gold pan full of incense; a bull, a ram, a male lamb one year old for a burnt offering; a male goat for a sin offering; 2 bulls, five rams, five male goats, five male lambs one year old for a peace offering.

I love to see the leaders being leaders!  They stand as not only instructing and directing each of their tribes respectively, but also serving and being an example to them.  They recognize that they have a responsibility to both YHWH and the people that they stand before.  They are the first to offer sacrifice and offering to the LORD and stand both in representation of their tribe, and as an example for their tribe to follow.  Everything is done right, and it is done well.  This is why these men are the leaders of their tribes.  They came first and they came before.  They served, and they served as an example.  They obeyed and they cooperated.  They were truly dedicated leaders.

This was a long chapter going through all of these offerings day by day.  It took me three days to copy over this chapter, but it also allowed me to finally get caught back up with my posting, so now i am once again posting on the same chapter that i am completing.  It’s a nice to be caught back up!

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Numbers – Introduction

Well, we’re on to the book of Numbers.  It’s easy, when you have some limited knowledge of the Bible (who really has unlimited knowledge) to see Numbers and think, “Oh man, not more of this genealogy stuff.”  And that has been my reaction as well, but there is so much more to this book than just the genealogies and families ofIsrael.  This is whereIsraelfinally leaves Sinai and goes to the land that has been promised to them.  This is where all kinds of spiritual debate occurs, and where the people of Israel have to turn around and ask themselves the question “Am I really going to do what God / YHWH is calling me to do?”  It’s a book of tough decisions, major successes, and major failures.  It is a book of people responding to overwhelming challenges and finding out what they’re really made of.  I know I don’t exactly come through with flying colors in those kinds of situations, and that’s what these men and women face day by day.

In one sense, if I could go back to Biblical times and experience and live what occurred in those times, this is one of those times I would love to be a part of.  To see God / YHWH leading the people day-by-day.  To be a part of the amazing wonders that were occurring all around.  To have that chance and opportunity to be a daily part of what God / YHWH was doing.  That is worth all the treasures and all the wonders in all the world.  Not to be my own master, but to serve the only one worthy of serving.  Do we have that attitude day after day?  We have the chance to be a part of something so much greater than we are, and yet we would rather pursue our own miserable little lives doing what we want, the way we want to, even if it means we live our lives miserable and with no lifetime value.  So much so that we lose out on what God / YHWH wants for us, and we have to pass that opportunity on to our kids, unfulfilled.  Then they have to live what God / YHWH has planned for us rather than what He has for them that requires a foundation of what we were supposed to do.

Are we living our lives for Him, or for us?

Rev. John

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Matthew 8 – Ministering

It’s amazing how even simple daily chores and tasks can be so very different day-by-day when we are connected to other people.  Our lives can have set schedules and predefined plans, but once you add in the “other person” factor, everything we plan and do suddenly changes.  Our “set schedule” suddenly becomes a possible plan or a good idea or a guarantee of what WON’T happen.  This is the case while Jesus is ministering as well.

Jesus ministers to a leaper, and all is normal… or as normal as they can be when you heal a leaper with a touch.  Then along comes a Centurion, a solider, many of whom dislike and mistreat the Jewish people.  Only this one is asking Jesus for help.  Not only does Jesus help him, but Jesus then turns around and says that He has not seen such faith in all of Israel!  Next we see people desiring to be His disciples, but then Jesus pushes them away.  What kind of teacher doesn’t want students?

After a long day, Jesus and His disciples head out in a boat and cross the sea.  Suddenly a tempest strikes and it looks like they will all drown.  When His disciples wake Him to help with the boat, He rebukes them.  Then He rebukes the storm and it immediately stops!

They all reach the other side only to run into a pair of men who are demon possessed and who have been driving people out of the region.  They free them from the demons only to be driven out of the region by the rest of the people BECAUSE they freed these men from being held captive by demons!  (I have my own theories as to why they kicked them out, but i’m not going to say them here and now.)

When you minister day by day directly with people, these are the kinds of unusual days and situations you are going to run into.  If you are in the ministry, and your schedule is well defined and set.  If you don’t have days where your plans and schedule are messed up by people, then i would wonder if you you are “ministering”, or if you are “doing the ministry”.  If you are doing the ministry I would challenge you to consider what your call and purpose is.

Jesus did not sit in an office all day.  He was hands on, and if we are to be like Him, we need to reconsider what it means to “minister” to the flock.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 7 – Understanding

I was going through this chapter, trying to understand and process all of this information in a relatively short period of time, and i was struck by this first couple of sections.  First off, Christ talks about not judging lest we be judged.  I was thinking about what that means.  I know that i do not want to be judged by God, but how does one go about not judging others?  Then we hit verse 6 that says, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”  So, we are not to judge, but in order to not give what is holy to dogs and not cast our pearls before swine, we must judge and discern that they are dogs or swine.  How do we do that?  Do not judge lest you be judged, yet judge lest you cast truth before those who can not accept it.

So we need to judge whether someone is able to handle the truth, but we must be careful in judging as we will be judged in the same way.  Later on, Jesus talks about knowing a person by their fruits.  If you need to judge someone you can understand who they are, and the truth about them by looking at what they produce.  If they produce life, they are people of life.  If they leave a path of destruction behind them, chances are they are a bad tree.

Later in the chapter Jesus talks about how the road is broad that leads to destruction, and narrow that leads to life and many who seek it will not find it.  So many who pursue truth and life will never find it.  Those are pretty strong words in our “all inclusive” culture.  Yet, those are Christ’s words.

So in understanding all of these things, it is important to build a strong foundation.  When you do not have a strong foundation, the troubles of life WILL sweep you away.  The only way to remain strong is have a strong foundation and strong roots.

Do you understand?  I’m pretty sure i MIGHT understand…  “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

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Matthew 6 – Religion & Relationship

Jesus sermon while on the mount continues through chapter 6 and into 7.  Here we get into more depth of life and ministry.  Jesus begins to deal with what it means to serve and worship Him.  Here we begin to see and get an understanding of what religion is, our purpose, and having a relationship with the Father.

From chapter 5 to 6 there is a transition from dealing with personal relationships to how we relate  to the world and to God.  Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and religious leaders because while they obey the letter of the law, they do so for personal and political gain.  It’s not that they care for the poor and orphans.  It’s that they desire to show the world that they are obeying the commands of God.  Meanwhile Jesus is saying here not that doing those kinds of things is wrong, they’re not.  In fact the pharisees are completely correct in giving to the poor and praying and fasting and everything else.  The issue is not so much in what they do, rather it’s in how they do it.

Jesus the Christ seems to be saying here that why and how we do what we do may be even more important than our doing it.  He tells the disciples that the pharisees have the action and obedience right, which was more than most, but at the same time He was very critical of them for how and why they were doing it:
Give to the poor, but do it in secret so you will have treasure in heaven.
Pray like this, but not in vain repetitions.
Forgive others so it may be forgiven you.
Make sure you fast, but don’t let others see or know you are fasting.
Don’t store up your treasures here on earth.  Store them up in heaven where they have real value.
You can’t serve God / YHWH and wealth.  You can either serve the maker or the tool.

Then last but certainly not least… Do not Worry!  God / YHWH is in control.  He provides all things for all.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will continue and be added.  I honestly believe that this is one of the most accepted sins in the church.  When we worry, we live by works and not by faith.  We say, “We know You say You are in control, but I don’t really believe that.  Not fully.”  I know that this is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.

John Camiolo

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Matthew 4 – Preparation

There are quite a few really interesting things going on in this chapter.  It is full of details and ideas that really make you think… or should make you think.  For instance, why did Jesus go into the wilderness?  Did He go to spend time with His Father?  Was He looking for clarification or direction?  Did He need some time of peace and quiet so that He could rest and prepare for His coming ministry?  Did He choose to go into the wilderness, or was he sent or led there?  Verse one says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness…”  So this was a directed thing.  It was something that the Holy Spirit was directing Him to do, and not necessarily something that He was pursuing on His own.

So we know that he was led there.  Strong’s definition for the word used for “led” is:

to lead up; by extension to bring out; specifically to sail away: – bring (again, forth, up again), depart, launch (forth), lead (up), loose, offer, sail, set forth, take up.

So He was led like the wind leads a sail boat.  With enough work, a sail boat CAN move against the wind, but it is much faster and easier for a sailboat to accept and be led by the wind.

This again leads us to the question, why?   Why was He led into the wilderness…  time with the Father?  …seeking direction?  …rest & preparation?  Maybe any or all of these are related to why Jesus went into the wilderness, but the big, major reason is defined in verse one.  “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  So Jesus whole reason and purpose for being in the wilderness was to be tempted.  That’s quite the statement isn’t it?  Jesus was led (like a sailing ship) into the wilderness to be tempted.  What is Jesus thought about this time / season?  Well, two chapters later Jesus is teaching His disciples about prayer and He directs them to pray “And DO NOT lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  That’s quite the statement isn’t it!  He has gone through it, and now He basically tells His disciples, “You do NOT want to do that!”

If we continue on, we find Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.  How many of us have fasted in our lives?  I know that I have.  Usually we fast for a reason, we have a question that needs an answer.  We have a problem that needs a result.  We need to reconnect to God / YHWH.  All of these are reasons we fast.  We fast in order to hear from and connect / reconnect to YHWH.  Jesus fasts here for 40 days and 40 nights, after finishing His fast, the very first voice he hears… is the tempter.  When we fast, whose voice do we expect to hear?  Do we fast to hear from the tempter or from YHWH?  Does that mean that we always hear from God, or even from God first?  We may pursue God, but we must be careful that the first word we hear while seeking YHWH may be the tempter rather than the Father.

There’s so much more to this chapter.  Please, please, take some time to study it… but then i could say the same thing about every other chapter of the Bible as well.

Blessings,

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

P.S. Also of note, this is what happens directly after the Holy Spirit comes upon Him, and YHWH tells the world, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!”

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